During the day, Gertrude’s walls of windows provide lots of light and views of the adjacent fountains and plantings. At night, votive candles add a flattering glow to the room while containers of crayons whimsically invite you to draw on the white paper that tops the tablecloths. Outside patio dining is available when weather permits.
The menu’s focus is on regional Chesapeake cooking and includes soups (cups $6), a dozen small plates ($8-12), six salads ($8-12 with choice of protein extra), 20 entrees ($16-22 including vegan options) and burgers ($9-11 with beef, turkey, and black bean patty options). A mix of breads and butter proved so good that we asked for more!
Marty started with red crab soup which was spicy, full of veggies and visible crab and earned his “Thumbs Up!” John was happy with his Caesar salad topped with an anchovy or two and lots of grated parmesan. Our friend JT was pleased as could be with a half dozen Malpeque oysters on the half shell ($13); cream of crab soup earned praise from our other friend.
For our main course, Marty enjoyed fried oysters with a cornmeal crust (not at all greasy), which were served with grilled red potatoes and apple-fennel coleslaw. John relished the Old Bay spiciness of his vegan faux crab cakes made with grated zucchini and topped with an orange chipotle sauce and nicely accompanied by garlic spinach and chilled udon noodles. Our friends enjoyed deliciously dark-crusted Maryland pan-fried chicken served with mashed potatoes and broccoli. Our server, Kevin, was excellent, checking in on our progress and impressively keeping drinks filled.
Despite initial protests that we were too full to think about dessert, we were too tempted to just say no. The deep blue/purple lusciousness of Marty’s blueberry-pomegranate sorbet ($5) earned another “Thumbs Up!” John tasted some and agreed completely! Our friend JT indulged in an ice cream sundae ($7) which was so big and overflowing with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and pecans that we all got to taste and enjoy it. Our other friend relished an unadorned bowl of house-made pistachio and vanilla ice cream ($5), which produced satisfied smiles.
It’s a good (and too rare!) thing when everyone at your table enjoys their meals without any quibbles, praises the server, and there’s a resulting flurry of “Thumbs Up!” like we experienced at Gertrude’s. If that wasn’t enough, Gertrude’s offers its long standing “Tuesday with Gertie” special when 10 regular entrees are offered for just $12 each. And then there’s the lure of a weekend brunch followed by a stroll in the adjacent museum. So many ways to enjoy Gertrude’s! Ah! Decisions! Decisions!
10 Art Museum Dr.
Tuesday-Friday lunch & dinner • Saturday & Sunday brunch
Full Bar • Vegan/Vegetarian options • Street parking